No. 8 Amherst tops rival Williams
Lord Jeffs blank Ephs for second consecutive season
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Junior Katie McMahon netted a pair of scores as the eighth-ranked Amherst field hockey team shut out Williams 3-0 to improve to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in NESCAC play.
Amherst has now won three of the last four meetings against the Ephs dating back to 2008, having blanked Williams in each of the past two seasons. The Jeffs’ three goals on the afternoon also matched the program’s highest scoring output against their archrivals, equaling the team’s goal count in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Ephs in 2003.
With Williams registering the game’s first couple of shots, Amherst won a penalty corner just under nine minutes after the opening whistle, hoping to generate the an early scoring opportunity.
Sophomore Alex Philie played the ensuing penalty corner into the circle where Carly Dudzik fired a shot that prompted an Ariana Spiliotes save. Before the Ephs could clear the ball, Chrissy Cantore corralled the rebound, slotting it into the cage to give Amherst the lead.
Continuing to apply pressure, Amherst pushed forward, outshooting Williams 9-1 during the remainder of the half before winning their 10th penalty corner of the frame as the horn sounded. Receiving the ball inside the arc, senior defender Sarah McCarrick ripped a shot toward net which McMahon redirected into goal, staking the Lord Jeffs to a 2-0 cushion heading into the intermission.
Looking to set the tone coming out of the break, the Ephs’ Cary Hairfield and Caitlin Conlon fired a couple of quick shots on goal, but Amherst first-year goalkeeper Rachel Tannenbaum smothered both chances to preserve the Jeff lead.
After blocking down a Betsy Hart shot and seeing a Margie Fulton try go wide in the 53rd minute, Amherst looked to regain its momentum, once again going on the offensive.
Coming out of the defensive zone, Krista Zsitvay and McMahon rushed forward, finding themselves on a 2-on-1 break. Drawing the defender, Zsitvay slid a pass to McMahon, who alone with Spiliotes buried the Jeffs' third goal of the game. With a pair of scores on the afternoon, McMahon has notched a goal or assist in all but one of Amherst's games this season, recording a team-high 19 points during that span.
Williams registered three shots in the final 15 minutes, but Tannenbaum made a pair of stops down the stretch en route to her seventh victory and third career shutout. Spiliotes finished with eight saves in the loss.
Amherst held a decisive 18-9 shot advantage and 14-5 edge in penalty corners.